• Van Halen Rising

  • How a Southern California Backyard Party Band Saved Heavy Metal
  • By: Greg Renoff
  • Narrated by: Sean Runnette
  • Length: 11 hrs and 25 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (946 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

After years of gigging everywhere from suburban backyards to dive bars, Van Halen - led by frontman extraordinaire David Lee Roth and guitar virtuoso Edward Van Halen - had the songs, the swagger, and the talent to turn the rock world on its ear.

The quartet's classic 1978 debut, Van Halen, sold more than a million copies within months of release and rocketed the band to the stratosphere of rock success. On tour, Van Halen's high-energy show wowed audiences and prompted headlining acts like Black Sabbath to concede that they'd been blown off the stage. By the year's end, Van Halen had established themselves as superstars and reinvigorated heavy metal in the process.

Based on more than 230 original interviews - including with former Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony and power players like Pete Angelus, Marshall Berle, Donn Landee, Ted Templeman, and Neil Zlozower - Van Halen Rising is the first book to tell the untold story of how these rock legends made the unlikely journey from Pasadena, California, to the worldwide stage.

©2015 Greg Renoff (P)2016 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"Renoff's book is a thoroughly entertaining read that will appeal to every hard rock fan." ( Publishers Weekly)

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What listeners say about Van Halen Rising

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Truly Outstanding!!!

Would you consider the audio edition of Van Halen Rising to be better than the print version?

I only use Audible for my book consumption these days due to eye strain but this one did not disappoint.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Van Halen Rising?

Without a doubt the story of the 'secret' entrance staged by Roth and Berle. I thought I was a VH fan but somehow had never heard this story!

Have you listened to any of Sean Runnette’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No, first time.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The entire book moved me. The perseverance these guys displayed (especially Edward and Alex from the moment they boarded the ship to come to America) was just tremendous!

Any additional comments?

To Greg Renoff, thank you sir for the ULTIMATE Van Halen book! Your passion shines through here on every page. I highly recommend this for any VH fan (or even a passing fan).

13 people found this helpful

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Entertaining story, superb narration

Greg Renoff really captures what is was like to be around one America's great rock 'n roll bands during their embryonic stage. Yes there was sex, drugs, and Rock, but there was even more hard work, determination and passion. The detailed accounts of Van Halen's early performances, just puts a smile on your face.
When you finish the book, you want so much more, especially the stories behind the soap opera years (1985, 1996, 98-2007)
Makes you want fire up some early Van Halen!

12 people found this helpful

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Van-Halen Fan? Get This Book Now!

This book is amazing!! Going back to the early days when, Van-Halen, would play backyard parties to 2000 people?!?! And they promoted everything themselves. No agents, no management... just them. This book focuses on the first Van-Halen album...the first tour...and how Eddie kicked every guitar player's ass, when they wanted a piece of, Eddie. You will not be disappointed with this awesome book!!

9 people found this helpful

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fantastic listen

A very well done compilation of multiple sources in telling the story of one off the greatest rock bands of all time.

10 people found this helpful

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GREAT book!

I thought the story was fantastic and the delivery extremely well done. I only wish the book were longer and went into the Van Halen story after their first album and especially after Dave left. I'll but that book when the guy writes it.

9 people found this helpful

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Hard work pays off, cream rises to the top.

I will listen to this again! I get to relive my long, lost love in Van Halen! The book took me there! I wish, I could have seen them when they were coming up, or maybe if they could be my brothers. Wake Up! Book is finished...

7 people found this helpful

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years ahead of time.

You will not be let down, at all.
Eddie, your missed, loved, eternally. Farewell, my friend.

2 people found this helpful

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Fair warning

I have to give you fair warning this is a great book. I listened to the audible version and I was totally entrenched for eleven hours something minutes. What a great book from start to finish, no spoilers here, you'll have to find out for yourselves.

10 people found this helpful

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Van Halen Rising Rocks

The original outliers -wow - what a time machine. So deserving are they all. Van Halen just goes to show you were hard ass work and perseverance can get you.

7 people found this helpful

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Couldn’t get enough of it

This was exactly what I needed to hear about - I finally found a book that got granular and microscopic enough in digging through those critical details that shed light on the truth of why van Halen became so successful. it was a combination of many things including timing but at minimum Eddie Van Halen‘s musical prowess and David Lee Roth’s stage presence & drive. we can speculate but the only thing we know is that it worked, and they caught lightning in a bottle — they brought the 80s in two years ahead of time and they were on top of the mountain for six amazing years. This book really focuses in on those juicy times between 74 and 78 where the magic recipe was unfolding - i loved it. One last comment everyone gives Roth a hard time for not being a perfect vocalist but as a front man and as a lead man and as a key driving force full of vinegar and energy he couldn’t be beat, and say what you will about his singing - but he really had a unique voice loaded with character and he sang with heart and emotion and feeling and when you heard that unmistakable voice you really thought that he was trying to tell you something with meaning.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Payam Kashani
  • 10-03-21

A MUST listen for old and new VH fans

I've been living with these guys in my head for 36 years. And I have gone through all the phases that VH fans have gone through, with all the genius and turbulence the band was mired in.

But I never really knew how hard it was for them to get to where they are. How much dedication they had to put in and how much adversity the faced. You can learn life lessons from listening to this book.

And most importantly the book humanises them in a way that none of the hundreds of interviews out there do. The book is about a bunch of young kids doing something extraordinary.

Loved it.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-26-20

Interesting

Interesting book charting the rise of Van Halen. Not the best book about Van Halen but still worth buying.

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  • patrick
  • 07-24-19

an absolutely awesome book

this is an absolute awesome inside in the start to greatness this book is also very inspirational for any guitar player / musician

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  • Financespod
  • 01-14-18

Interesting but limited

An interesting collection of interviews from a multitude of sources. Differs from other accounts of events as press interviews often do.

The narrator?was a little uninspiring.

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  • Paul Kelman
  • 08-01-17

Good but long & repetitive

A good book for Van Halen fans taking them up to early success. Quite long & repetitive. A lot of cover song yard parties discussed. I didn't realise the influence of Dave Lee Roth. Worth a listen.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-13-19

A casual and easy listen.

Fun anecdotes retold from multiple perspectives. The narrator's clenched-jaw "performansh" - while annoying at first - grows on the listener by the end. I would enjoy a sequel written by the same author.

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  • Haphazard72
  • 03-05-17

Great book!

His was a great book!

Enjoyed the actual story itself, being a long time Van Halen fan. The first 10 minutes I nearly stopped as I didn't like the voiceover but as I got more into it, I really enjoyed it- the style suited the story.

Worth the read/listen